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Posts tagged "New York"


The Sally Fowler Rat Pack (at 7-years old)

NEW YORK CITY—This dance school image was part of a photo story about upper-class children taking dancing lessons and being taught social graces. The lesson pictured was conducted in the lobby of a ritzy Park Avenue building to the music of a live four-person band, part of the social set Lester Lanin Orchestra that used to play at many of the New York balls and social events (and perhaps still does), 1977.

Taken from Slate’s always amazing MAGNUM photo gallery.

Watch the Mockingbird favorite Metropolitan if you want to see those kids all grown up.

The Ripped and the Righteous: The Gospel According to Jack LaLanne

Frank Bruni cooked up (!) quite the enlightening editorial in Saturday’s NY Times about the recently deceased fitness guru Jack LaLanne, tracing the ways LaLanne was responsible for turning exercise into a religion, the gym into a temple, etc. I’ll spare you a diatribe about the superficiality of “discipline” for discipline’s sake – Bruni says/implies […]

Self-Knowledge and the Steelers

I’m a huge Steelers fan. I come by it honestly, having lived in Pittsburgh for three years while I was in seminary. Yet I’ve recently noticed that rooting for the Steelers really throws my lack of sanctification into sharp relief. Before last week’s AFC Championship game against the hometown Jets (my parish, though in New […]

Human Righteousness as performed by The Portsmouth Sinfonia

Have you heard the Portsmouth Sinfonia? You see, The Portsmouth Sinfonia was founded by an English art school in 1970. Oddly, its primary requirement was that the musicians not be…well… musicians, or at least not play the instrument to which they were assigned. This reminds me of what I put my parents through for nine […]

Narrative and the Grace of God: The New ‘True Grit’

Stanley Fish is doing our job for us over on the New York Times Online OpEd Section. Fish, an academic known for his postmodern literary criticism (think interpretive communities) and guest writer for the NYT, wrote a piece entitled Narrative and the Grace of God: The New ‘True Grit’ which sounds like something Nick Lannon […]

Christ Was Never In Christmas

A timely reflection from Mbird friend Russ Masterson:  The tug is relentless this time of year – look at things, buy things, think about things. In December materialism is like breathing, at least it is for me. In the Christmas season we tend to overshop and overeat – an admittedly weird way to celebrate the […]

More Best’s and Worst’s: Dance World, Family Bands, Phrases

A refreshingly high culture year-end list from Mbird behind-the-scenes man Ken Wilson, aka KW: Dance World Best and Worst of the Decade Best The birth and growth of Suzanne Farrell Ballet: The little ballet company run by George Balanchine’s last muse is only a part-time operation that can’t compete for top talent with neo-classical troupes […]

Someone’s Crying, Lord

Fascinating little article in last Friday’s NY Times about the unfortunate castration and subsequent politicization of the gospel song “Come By Here,” known these days by its infamous anglicized title, “Kumbaya”: One particular day [in 1926, down-on-his-luck musicologist Robert Winslow] Gordon captured the sound of someone identified only as H. Wylie, singing a lilting, swaying […]

The Cruelty of Righteous People

Long, lovely quote from Reinhold Niebuhr’s An Interpretation of Christian Ethics (pp. 138-1390): ============== There is no deeper pathos in the spiritual life of man than the cruelty of righteous people. If any one idea dominates the teachings of Jesus, it is his opposition to the self-righteousness of the righteous. The parable spoken unto “certain […]

Grace in Education? The Manhattan Free School

A fascinating little snapshot in the NY Times of a school in Manhattan that really swallows the whole loaf, grace-wise. Some might see it as hopelessly naive, others as an honest attempt to take the inside-out approach as far as it can go. One has a strong suspicion that the Manhattan Free School caters to […]

Some Things Never Change – RJ Heijmen

Continuing with our series of entries from Judgment & Love, here is RJ Heijmen’s chapter. RJ is head minister of St. Paul’s Church in New York City – you can subscribe to his terrific podcast here. Again, J&L is a collection of 35 true-life stories illustrating the powerful truth that when love is shown in […]

Harlem’s Church Tourism

Over at Slate, a fascinating look at “the Bizarre Tourist Trade at Harlem’s Sunday Church Services”, which, as the author suggests, begs a few questions: 1. Is this phenomenon an encouraging one or not? That is, should we be excited that folks who never go to church are going (regardless of their reasons)? Or is […]